Archive for the ‘Artsy Little Towns- ALTs’ Category

La Gruta

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
La Gruta

La Gruta pools

So, La Gruta (the grotto) has been on my list of things to see & do from the very start. I was really starting to believe that I would never get there. Somehow, not having a car & not understanding the bus/taxi system, out-of-town seems like the impossible dream. Or maybe it’s like Brigadoon- if I go too far from SMA, it may melt away.

Luckily for me, I met CZ at the mole/adobo cooking class, who had already decided that she would be doing La Gruta in her precious 2 wks in SMA. So (being an opportunist), I tagged along.

First, we went to the church at Atotonilco (say that 3 times fast, I dare you!)  and took pix, then on to La Gruta. The weather has finally warmed up, but according to a habitue of the springs, they were colder than usual.

The highlight is a pool that is accessed by a long rock-masonry tunnel. It ends in a dome, all done in local rock, with a few glass inlays for light. Sort of like a kiva? But it’s the warmest water, and at 1 PM, hot water directly from the springs poured out from a pipe. There is no way to get a camera in there. It is very like being in the womb of the Earth. I can’t explain it better than that. Shafts of light, warm water pouring in, and floating in the mineral water…

More pix here

Tips from the locals: great for hangovers, avoid on wkends. negotiate cab fare & arrange for pickup after 2.5 hrs. Do not pay until return trip! (Now I know!)

Tianguis Market

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Tianguis Market

Tianguis Market, San Miguel de Allende

Every Tuesday, merchants and buyers gather on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende for the Tianguis Market. Representatives from every segment of society come by bus, taxi, SUV & foot to sell, buy, chat, eat and haggle.

There is not much you can’t buy at Tianguis. Fresh seafood, organic vegetables, batteries, shoes, clothespins, yarn, candy, french fries and of course, clothes.

There are about 5 free-for-all clothing table areas. One is pictured above. The barkers stand on or among their goods, bellowing the prices¬† (“Anything for 30 pesos!”) while customers paw through the piles, executing a shuffle step around the tables, occasionally adding a garment to the pile on their arm, or asking for a frend’s opinion. The men standing on the tables kick the piles to expose new bargains every few minutes.

With no fitting rooms, it seems an odd way to replenish a wardrobe, but people (including yours truly) are always showing up in SMA with the wrong wardrobe for the weather, so this is a good way to fill in the gaps.

And it’s a great way to spend a Tuesday morning.

Enneagrams

Monday, January 18th, 2010
enneagram diagram

Enneagram diagram

Today I got to attend my second Enneagram class at the LifePath Center in San Miguel. I skipped last week, b/c I was at the beach.

It’s strange, but enneagrams have been a part of my life for nearly nine years, but I’ve never had any real groups or training. Occasionally, I’ll run into someone who’s interested, and we sort of nudge each other along the path. So it’s a real treat to be around a group who is interested in learning & sharing information.

I’ve added a link to the diagram above. There are many systems, but my favorite at this point is Riso-Hudson. The link takes you to a very clear explanation of the system, and here is a free test. We are using their book: Wisdom of the Enneagram, which I’ve found very useful over the years (It’s one of my “most used” books.) (more…)

Sayulita!

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Sayulita Beach 1/2010

Well, poor David, our fearless tour leader, nearly had a mutiny on his hands, when it came time to leave. Most of us were deep in conversation about how to skip the rest of the tours & get back here.

Sayulita is just terrific. I’m sure old-timers are appalled at how commercialized it is, but for the rest of us… well, we have nothing to compare it to, so we like it now.

There were a couple of most-time residents in the plaza explaining some of the school, recycling & public projects going on, and they were happy to clue us in to the best restaurants, and where the “iguana tree” was. We wandered around for a while, just soaking it in (and hearing more reggae outside of Jamaica than you’d believe), dodging surfers & 4 wheel drives, & hiking up mostly dirt roads.

The crafts here were of a higher caliber than I’ve seen for a while, but most of the shopkeepers were native English speakers, at least downtown, and the prices reflected that.

Lunch was @ the “Original Sayulita Fish Taco,” and the mango salsa was unbelievable. They have a specifically tequila bar, and unlike many Mexican margaritas, these were not too sweet. (We caught one guy adding Fresca the other night! Sacrilege!)

After lunch, we repaired to a beach, rented lounges & fended off vendors. (Except for J, who ended up buying 2 beautiful pareos. She, like me, has a weakness for things that sparkle.

I’ll be plotting my return…

Lots of pix here.